Cancun Spring Break Safety: Partying with Marines

Every single year the US and Canadian media start bashing Mexico right around Spring Break. It never fails. This year they grabbed on to a news story about a shooting at a Cancun bar. (Which, by the way, happened in a bad bar in a bad neighborhood and was just bad guys shooting bad guys, nothing to do with tourists or even innocent locals. I understand this kind of stuff happens in every city.)

Anyway, to combat the unsafe image of Cancun that many foreigners now have thanks to inflated media reports, the government has decided to send in the marines to Spring Break.

THE MARINES.

A little added police presence might be a nice way to help Spring Breakers feel a little safer, but I don’t think anybody feels good when they see dozens (seriously, dozens) of marines in fatigues carrying very, very large guns.

The past few times I’ve been to Party Center, I’ve seen lots of these guys:

 

I’m sure the city of Cancun has the best intentions here and really does want the tourists to just feel safe. Back in the States, if I were to see a pickup truck filled with men in fatigues and helmets carrying giant guns, I would instantly assume we were in a war zone. Mexico’s different though, and here that’s just how the authorities like to drive around. (I think they think it makes them look cool.)

It’s normal here in Cancun and doesn’t mean anything bad, but unfortunately I don’t think most tourists are used to seeing this:

 

What do you guys think? Would marines make you feel safer or less safe?

Cancun Spring Break 2013: A Local’s View

This year, Jorge and I had decided that we wanted to check out the Spring Break 2013 atmosphere in Cancun. We’re 27 years old now (!!), so we figured we should go to Spring Break before we got too old and started to look creepy.

Turns out that wasn’t a problem.

We went on a Friday night and were surprised to see that Party Center was PACKED, but not with crazy 18-year-olds like we were expecting. Most of the people we saw in the street were about our age (mid-20s) and there were plenty of people in their 30s, 40s and up as well! (There were college kids, too, just not as many as we were expecting for Spring Break.)

It was also about 80% guys. That’s good news for the ladies, I guess.

Proof of all the guys

 

Even though it wasn’t a typical “Spring Break” crowd, it was still a cool atmosphere! And now we know that we’re free to go back to party no matter what our age.

We spent the night at Mandala, which I’d never been to before. Soooo many people! I didn’t have the best time mainly because of the music. Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE techno music with a burning passion. Unfortunately, clubs have started playing almost entirely techno songs over the past few years. I just can’t have fun with techno music playing. Had to fake it most of the night before they finally played a few hip hop and pop songs around 2 am.

Musical preferences aside, Mandala was still a pretty cool club.

And just to show you what Party Center looks like during Spring Break, here are some street pics:

 

Have you been to Spring Break in Cancun?

Spring Break in Mexico? Yes Please.

This week, I was excited to sign on with the Mexico Today program once again! Over the next few months, I will be sharing the occasional link to posts on the Mexico Today website (in addition to my “normal” posts on “hard-hitting” topics like the beach, my weird neighbors, and spiders).

Today I’m sharing a short but sweet article on something I have experienced first-hand:

Mexico Remains a Top Spring Break Location

50,000 Spring Breakers in Cancun and the Riviera Maya alone! After Jorge and I went bar-hopping in Cancun’s Party Center back in March, I can see why.

In fact, I think all 50,000 of those Spring Breakers might have been at Coco Bongo that night.

So tell me, amigosWhat’s the craziest thing you’ve done during Spring Break?

Spring Break Cancun Craziness

Well this past 3-day weekend was crazy, to say the least!

Friday night we went to Party Center in the Hotel Zone with some of Jorge’s guy friends to see some of the Spring Break 2012 action.

Line outside Coco Bongo

This shirt was a Christmas present, and it didn

Mandala - filled up!

We wandered around Party Center for awhile, then decided on XX Bar because it was cheap, and the only place that wasn’t 100% packed yet.

**Note to my female readers: Dancing on bars is fun, but I recommend wearing jeans, not miniskirts. It may seem fun at the time, but you won’t like that YouTube video filmed by some stranger once you’re home from vacation.

**Note to my male readers: Don’t dance on bars. Ever. You may fall into the concrete bar pit like this one shirtless body builder we saw. Hilarious for us. Not an easy embarrassment to shake off for him.

The best part of the night: I got hit on! Since I’m always out with Jorge, I haven’t gotten hit on much in the past 5 years. 30 seconds by myself at the bar, and I was turning guys down. Nice to know I still got it!

We left XX Bar around 4 am and snuck into went to Plaza Forum for some late-night pizza. Yum!

Cancun's Party Center Spring Break 2011

Well, we did it. We went to a nightclub in the Hotel Zone during Spring Break, which is something I had NEVER done before! I used to go to the Hotel Zone every Friday and Saturday night, except during Spring Break.

Spring Break is winding down a bit, and this week is Mexico’s Semana Santa, when they have their vacations. It was a crazy mix of Mexican and American tourists, which made for a pretty fun atmosphere.

So Friday night, we headed down to Cancun’s Party Center.

Partygoers on their way to the clubs

Party Center in full swing

We decided to go to our favorite spot, Congo. It’s an open air club that has a more casual atmosphere than some of the more upscale clubs. The ambiance was insanely good, but the service was womp womp… the waiter kept forgetting to bring my bottled water (yeah, I don’t drink much), and stopped waiting on tables entirely around 1 am. Other than that, no complaints!

They closed the bar pretty early at 4 am, which was a bit disappointing. (Most places in the Hotel Zone don’t close the bar until 5:30.)  So we got onto the bus back into downtown Cancun, and went to get some tacos. I’ve never gone to a club in the US, but here in Mexico it’s a tradition to go get tacos or tortas after a night at the club.

What are the nightclubs like where you live?

Spring Break Begins in Cancun

Tuesday night I went out to dinner at Carlos and Charlie’s, which is located right in the middle of Party Center in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.

I hadn’t realized until I got there that it was Fat Tuesday! When we got there around 9:30 it was pretty calm, but by the time we left at 11:30 it was PACKED.

The line for Coco Bongo
Guess who’s in Cancun right now? Ronnie! Love Jersey Shore… hate Ronnie.

A brand new nightclub called "Mandala"... looked pretty awesome (and full!)

So yeah, it looks like Spring Break is already in full swing… and it’s only the beginning of March! We’ll see if we’re brave enough to stop by any of the Hotel Zone nightclubs over the next 2 months.